June 22, 2016 |
Water, sunlight, and construction nails have been showering the plants at one of Center City's most popular community gardens. Among the blooming flowers, tomatoes, and herbs is the occasional two–by–four sticking out of a plot of soil. So far, the nails and other construction detritus has resulted in closures, meetings, special committees, and input from a lawyer. On Monday, after another meeting, a solution was reached. It involves a task force. The problem began when Dranoff Properties and contractor Intech began construction of One Riverside, a 22-story residential tower at 210 S. 25th St. The Schuylkill River Park Community Garden is its immediate neighbor to the south.
June 12, 2016 |
Philadelphian R. Eric Thomas can spin one heck of a story. Whether he's speaking on local podcasts, hosting storytelling competitions, or writing fiction, his narratives engage and entertain with his humor and wry musings. (Full disclosure: I worked as an editor when Thomas wrote for Thinking Dance, where his side-splitting commentary enlivened staff meetings.) Simpatico Theatre Project's staging of Thomas' new play Time is on Our Side shows that, beyond just telling a tale, Thomas understands how a story can affect the lives of all who hear it. Annie (Kristen Norine)
October 7, 2015 |
The long: For the first time, typically grownups-only DesignPhiladelphia hosts kid-friendly events. Turns out, children learn through playing with (and on) cool objects. The short: Do you wanna build a playground? All week long: "The Art of Active Play" series at Smith Memorial Playground begins with a grownup-oriented talk (6-8 p.m. Thursday, $10), continues with the visit of three simple yet innovative play structures - a wacky bench, a tricked-out balance beam and a mini gym, all designed and built by Philly kids working with the Community Design Collaborative as part of its Play Space initiative - temporary companions to the famous big wooden slide.
September 18, 2015 |
Backers of a plan to hasten development along the Delaware River by building a trail with pocket parks and other attractions along the South Philadelphia waterfront are closing in on the land they need for the project. The Delaware River Waterfront Corp. has acquired a section of riverside property from builders K4 Associates and is close to a deal with local developer Bart Blatstein for the final land to build the 0.7-mile bike and walking trail, said Tom Corcoran, president of the nonprofit.
August 27, 2015 |
MEZZO-SOPRANO Suzanne Duplantis has performed on opulently set stages while wearing exquisite costumes, accompanied by the finest orchestras, bowing to thunderous applause from beautifully dressed concertgoers. Today, her proscenium is an ICU room in Pennsylvania Hospital. Her costume, a jacket and slacks. Her accompaniment, the techno-beep of medical monitors. And her audience is a lone man. Tom Purdom, 79, is clad in a thin bed gown, his head held aloft by a neck brace, his body impaled by tubes, his lungs fed oxygen from a gently hissing tank.
July 12, 2015 |
It was a gray day in mid-November 1998 when I met Carl Dranoff for the first time. Apparently, the Philadelphia developer had been reading my Sunday columns, because he had left a voice mail message a week before, saying that he had the impression that I liked construction projects, and that he had one he'd like me to see. That project, Locust on the Park, was the conversion of the National Book Publishing Co. building on Locust Street between...
September 24, 2013 |
Kid Hazo stalked the Philadelphia Parking Authority Sunday and found its minions remarkably elusive. Normally, the blue uniforms swarm the city. Normally, 1/18th of a second after a meter runs out, they materialize and slap a ticket on the windshield. Normally, their cars lurk around every corner. On a busy, beautiful fall weekend, however, when it was nearly impossible to find a free, legal spot to park, the force was literally not with him. It took four hours for Hazo to find a parked traffic enforcement car. When he finally did, victory was delicious.
September 5, 2013 |
A 20-story residential tower planned at the entrance to the popular Schuylkill River Park won final approval Tuesday from the Civic Design Review board, despite concerns that the project could seriously affect pedestrian safety and an adjacent community garden. The unanimous decision cleared the way for developer Carl Dranoff to start construction next fall. Joan Wells, president of the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden, said she was disappointed that the review board gave the project a green light, especially after several board members pointed out problems with the design.
August 24, 2013 |
A great public space like the Schuylkill River Park deserves an exceptional building as a neighbor. So far, developer Carl Dranoff's proposal for One Riverside isn't it. That doesn't mean the 21-story apartment tower designed by Cecil Baker + Partners can't evolve into something worthy of the popular riverfront park that surrounds the site. But it's going to take work - and not just by the development team. The neighborhood has to pitch in, too. The wailing and keening that greeted last week's presentation to the Center City Residents Association wasn't the kind of constructive help that this project needs.
July 31, 2013
Engaging the community first While it's accurate that I would not discuss plans for One Riverside in detail with Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, I was disappointed that The Inquirer failed to note the important reason ("Challenge on the Schuylkill," July 26). We are going to great lengths to engage local residents. To me, the first conversations about the details must be with that community. While these conversations are well underway, and there have been meetings with the Center City Residents Association, there are other meetings planned soon.